At 8 in the morning I was ready with my renewed strength and very high spirits for pao making! Using a 30 year old aluminium basin for the dough my Mentor taught me the rudiments of Chinese Steamed Bun making. I have made paos before but this is a special refresher course with new ingredients and new tips. New culinary kung fu that is!!
Her vegetables were laid out and prepared for me to grate with another great utensil: a grater made/improved to become a very practical and convenient gadget by her husband - it thus becomes an age-old Foochow wood based grater which I think
After grating the vegetables we fried the filling .
By the time we finished cooking the filling the dough is ready for kneading - everything by hand.
No hooks and no machine. (Sorry Chef Wan)
Here are the blessed hands which make the best pao - famous in Miri and even in England and Australia. More than 38 years of experience in pao making!!
My mentor has kept this old old flour sack as the tea towel for keeping the drying wind out of the rising buns. We must never allow the dough to dry up. According to her doughs are very sensitive (like babies) and any little disturbance would cause the dough to stop rising and the paos would turn out "kik kik" meaning depressed and dented.
Her daughter had a steamer whose bottom piece was burnt. She took the top layers and recycled them (on the left). Another child also burnt the bottom piece (right) and now the top layers are sitting beautifully on top of a kuali!! All the pieces have been in her kitchen for more than 15 years. How resourceful she is. I would give her a gold medal for recycling and saving our world.
Our now cooked buns - at 11 a.m. (The steaming took 25 minutes ) And we made 62 palm sized buns.
Pearly and Aminah relaxing and eating the lovely buns after the cell group meeting at 10 p.m.. Yum yum.
Below Miss Ching (soon to be a bride) singing the praises of the buns.....Best in Miri.
Whisper : Would you like to have the recipe?
P/S I hope my friend's Monday TEA GANG in Sibu would enjoy these photos - since ML likes paos...I am opening a window for him to look at the beautiful hands which make paos in Miri!! ML - no paos this time - just photos....Cheers.